In the mid-sixties, a group of friends met every Sunday morning for kick-abouts at Princes Park, a small park in Temple Fortune, NW11.
Around the autumn of 1968, a few members of the group split away to start up a team named Princes Park. On 28th December 1968, four other players, namely Michael Rook, Robert Silverstone and brothers Nigel and Peter Kyte, decided to form their own team. Unable to use the obvious name of Princes Park, the young foursome called the new side Temple Fortune Town. TFT, as the team was affectionally known, took part in small-sided matches to begin with. The first 11-a-side match was played on Sunday 25th October 1970 at Hampstead Heath, where TFT beat Princes Park Juniors 12-4. In 1971, the name was shortened to just Temple Fortune and a set of yellow shirts was bought from Pullens of Temple Fortune Parade for only £14!
Temple Fortune continued to play the occasional friendly match but towards the end of the 1972/73 season, the idea was for the Club to progress into proper league football. In June 1973, founders Nigel and Peter Kyte, joined by brothers David and Jeremy Lobl, held a meeting to decide whether or not the team should join the Maccabi (Southern) Football League for season 1973/74. A split vote defeated the proposal just prior to the M(S)FL's Annual General Meeting. Because of this setback, Temple Fortune went into a decline which saw the Club stagnate for a couple of years, playing very few games. However, on 18th February 1976, the Club was revived by the forming of a new Management Committee. Temple Fortune completed the 1975/76 season by playing five friendlies, three of them against existing M(S)FL teams. Winning four and drawing one, this encouraging start paved the way towards a successful application being submitted to join the M(S)FL for the 1976/77 season.
At the Club's first AGM at the Alyth Youth Club NW11 in June 1976, Nigel Kyte was elected as Chairman, an office he still holds to this day, whilst Peter Kyte took on the role of General Secretary in which he remained for the next 15 years. Affiliating to the London Football Association, Temple Fortune purchased a new green and white kit and were allocated Parliament Hill Playing Fields for home matches in the inaugural league season. The first historic M(S)FL match was played on Sunday 5th September 1976 against fellow-newcomers Bushey United. Fortune went on to finish the debutant season in 7th out of 13 teams.
In the next season, the Club were allocated its first Barnet Council pitch at West Hendon Playing Fields where five seasons were spent. TFFC quickly progressed sufficiently enough to be able to form a Second XI which entered the M(S)FL in 1979/80. The First XI enjoyed two promotions and took part in the Premier Division for the first time in 1981/82, spending three seasons there. In 1982, the Club again moved to a new home venue, this time at Bethune Park in Friern Barnet where both teams had use of a large flat pitch within a fenced-off running track. Three years later, TFFC returned to yellow shirts the Club's original shirt colours and added red shorts; these colours have remained ever since and are now part of the Club's identity.
Temple Fortune’s teams have had a rather yoyo experience in M(S)FL football, moving up and down the divisions with a fair degree of regularity. The highlight was winning the Second Division championship in 1985-86 and two years later the First XI were back in the Premier Division for another three-year stint. On three occasions, players of the Club have won M(S)FL Player of the Year awards, the most prominent accolade coming in 1982 when Gary Hyams was named Premier Division Footballer of the Year which is the League’s top individual player's award.
Prior to the 1990/91 season, the Second XI were erroneously promoted against the Club’s wishes to Division One by the League's Committee after finishing 7th out of 9 teams in Division Two the previous season. The envisaged season of struggle became reality and the Club were forced to fold its Second side at the end of the 1990/91 season which saw both teams relegated.
As part of TFFC's Silver Anniversary celebrations in 1993, the Club held two 'past v present' matches at Bethune Park. Such was the success of these commemorative games, an Old Boys XI was set up in June 1994 which has been playing between eight and ten matches every year since. In 1997, Temple Fortune left Bethune Park after 15 years due to declining standards there. The Club were allocated Childs Hill Park and West Hendon Playing Fields for the 1997/98 season. Also in 1997, the Second XI was reformed after an absence of six years, playing friendlies during the 1997/98 season prior to rejoining the M(S)FL for the 1998/99 campaign.
At the end of their first season back, the Seconds gained promotion and won the M(S)FL's prestigious Ron Saunders Sportsmanship/Turnout Memorial Trophy, a fitting testimony for the typical excellent organisation traditionally enjoyed by the Club in general. During the summer of 1999, Temple Fortune became founder members of the Maccabi Masters Football League, having run an Old Boys for six years. Temple Fortune Old Boys took part in MMFL football for the first time on 17th October 1999. For season 2005/06, the Club acquired a new home venue at Whitchurch Playing Fields in Stanmore under Harrow Council to replace Childs Hill Park. For the first time since 1977 the Club were staging home MSFL fixtures outside the London Borough of Barnet.
A long running institution within TFFC is its own newsletter, The Fortune News, which has been produced on a regular basis every season since season 1976/77. The newsletter celebrated its Silver Anniversary in 2001 and has been distributed primarily to Club Members via email for the past few years, initially on a weekly basis under the guise of e-tffc! and then under the reknowned title of The Fortune News once again.
The Club celebrated 35 years of existance in December 2003, by staging a special invitation small-sided game at Princes Park, a sentimental occasion particularly for Nigel and Peter Kyte! September 5th 2006 marked exactly 30 years since Temple Fortune first entered the Maccabi (Southern) Football League, and to mark this splendid occasion, the Club ordered two new commemorative kits to reflect Temple Fortune's original M(S)FL colours back in 1976, wearing a modern adaptation of the green and white colours.
Season 2007/08 is Temple Fortune Football Club’s 32nd successive campaign of participation in Maccabi football, an achievement of continued longevity of which we are immensely proud. Such a marvellous milestone speaks volumes about TFFC’s excellent reputation and high ranking status within Maccabi sport.